Sky’s the limit for satellite
A NEW trial is looking to provide life-saving in-flight broadband access for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, emergency services and Sky Muster satellite.
The trial involves a Qantas jet flying East Coast routes accessing unused Sky Muster data (through a retail company which sells NBN Sky Muster access) while in flight.
It is expected to develop and refine hardware and software for mobile in-flight internet access, which once tested can be used in other circumstances, including by the RFDS.
Minister for Regional Communications Fiona Nash said the launch of the trial involving a Qantas jet and the Sky Muster was a vital step.
“I’m pleased this trial has gone well. In-flight telehealth on Flying Doctors’ planes can save lives as it means live patient data, from say a heart monitor, can be sent to specialists on the ground who can send advice back almost instantly,” she said.
“It’s fantastic to think utes and tractors will also be able to have mobile Sky Muster receivers fitted. The benefits for rural and remote businesses could be huge.”
RFDS CEO Martin Laverty, after meeting with the NBN, said there was much potential on the trial.
“In-flight broadband would allow an injured or ill patient’s medical information to be shared instantly with hospitals or specialists,” he said. “It has potential to improve patient outcomes and the Flying Doctor is keen to test Sky Muster’s potential.”
Sky Muster is a big part of the rural and remote NBN access.